June 8, 2010
the day is too short
Bela Lugosi is leading three lives in this movie and even has time to sleep. I wonder how he manages that. This time he uses only a pair of spectacles to change between persons. As nearly always in the films I have seen here, he is acting well, he is the best of the already mentioned large cast. One cast note I want to add: an uncredited appearance of Pat Costello as a tramp who is questioned by John Archer. I checked it at IMDb because I couldn´t believe my own eyes.
February 8, 2010
Soup to nuts
A better than average Monogram programmer in which Bella Lugosi leads a triple life as a respected college professor, a humanitarian soup kitchen proprietor and a homicidal crime boss. (And you thought you were busy?) The large cast also features John Archer, Dave O'Brien and cover-girl-gorgeous Wanda McKay, who had all the prerequisites for stardom - except acting ability. Lugosi mostly keeps his performance toned down to fit the mood of this crime melodrama with horror elements. The conclusion is reminiscent of "Freaks" and "Island of Lost Souls" (1932), but of course it's not nearly as intense or graphic as those pre-code classics. An entertaining hour with a few creep-out moments and a little comedy served as a side dish. Lugosi fans won't be disappointed. CAST NOTE: The cast also includes Tom Neal, best known for playing the male lead in the acclaimed "Detour." (Available here at the Archive.) Ill-fated in real life, he was sent to prison for murdering his wife.